Home' Trinidad and Tobago Guardian : May 15th 2013 Contents A4
Guardian www.guardian.co.tt Wednesday, May 15, 2013
The Anti-Corruption Bureau still
has the Landate matter under probe
and police still have the Calder Hart
matter under investigation, says
Attorney General Anand Ramlogan.
Ramlogan said so in the Senate yes-
terday, replying to Opposition ques-
From figures Ramlogan gave on work
by the so-called "A-team" of attorneys
hired in 2010 to probe various matters
of alleged corruption, the Government
has to date paid out approximately $39
million in fees to local and foreign attor-
neys and a forensic firm.
He said figures up to April 2013 were
that the following sums were paid out:
• local attorney Mark Seepersad---
• local attorney Gerald Ramdeen---
• foreign attorney Allan Newman---
• Afa Law---$6.9 million
• forensic firm Alex Partners---$20.9
Ramlogan said the fees were for
probing alleged misconduct, including
civil fraud, breach of fiduciary duty,
negligence and similar alleged wrong-
doing on cases in which $2 billion in
compensation is being sought.
He said the work of the "A-team"
is completed and the team s probes
had fulfilled their mandate.
He said the team s work was to
uncover civil wrong and not criminal
wrong, since the Government has no
power or legal authority to start or
supervise any police probe. Authority
for criminal probes was vested with
the police and DPP, he added.
Ramlogan said: "As we speak, the
police still have the Calder Hart matter
under investigation. They still have,
through the Anti-Corruption Bureau,
the Landate matter under investiga-
He said the police also had under
investigation some of the matters the
"A-team" was working on.
But Ramlogan said he could not
report on these probes, or say why they
were taking so long or what authorities
had been doing, since that was a matter
for the police and DPP.
He said he was sure criminal efforts
were made by the former administra-
tion to pilfer a lot of money and these
matters were being investigated by the
"But the chickens will come home
to roost when the police complete their
investigations...They can run but they
could never hide," he said.
After the work done by the "A-team,"
Ramlogan said, the Government was
suing ex-Udecott chairman Hart and
Udecott board members for $500 mil-
lion in connection with the Brian Lara
Stadium construction in Tarouba. Also
being probed is a claim against former
Petrotrin chairman Malcolm Jones for
$1.2 billion regarding the gas to liquids
He said investigations were also done
into Prof Ken Julien and former E Teck
board members on the Bamboo Invest-
ments issue, in which US$6 million
was pumped on a project "into a black
Another issue concerns Julien and
the lease of an Aripo guest house which
Ramlogan said was outfitted to house
"PNM prophetess" Juliana Pena, in
which the State failed to verify the lea-
sor was the owner of the property.
Trade, Industry and Investment Minister Vasant Bharath, left, and Planning Minister Bhoe Tewarie relax
during the Anti-Doping in Sport Bill, 2013 debate at yesterday's sitting of the Senate.
PHOTO: MARCUS GONZALES
The family and friends of six-year-old Eric Git-
tens, who died after a concrete table fell on him at
the Turtle Beach Hotel in Tobago on Friday, are
appealing to hotels and people with similar equip-
ment to remove them rather than risking injuries
in the future.
In a statement yesterday the family and friends of
Eric said they felt the need to speak in the interest
of public safety, accuracy and a humane concern for
the grieving parents of the young boy.
"We repeat the Tobago police s call for the hotel
to remove other similar tables, for other people with
similar equipment to check (or) remove them and
for the relevant experts to advise the public on the
minimum standards required to ensure that these
tables do not cause more injuries in the future."
Manager of the hotel, Leslie Amedee, refused to
answer questions yesterday afternoon when con-
"The hotel has said all that it needed to say on
the matter," Amedee responded to several different
Asked six times whether the hotel would be remov-
ing or replacing the tables as a result of the incident,
Amedee refused to answer.
Amedee reportedly told a newspaper on Monday,
however, the tables had been stationed around the
hotel s pool since 2004 and all necessary checks had
been made to ensure their safety.
Eric s family also raised concerns about an article
in another paper yesterday that they felt suggested
that his mother, Susan Gittens, was negligent in her
The article quoted an anonymous source as saying
Eric had been jumping on the concrete table and his
mother was warned repeatedly to remove him.
"We appreciate that in situations like this emotions
and gossip can distort stories and lead to people
saying the wrong things. Having said that, Tuesday s
newspaper article suggesting negligence on the part
of Eric and his mother reads like a callous, self-
serving attempt to cause mischief or deflect respon-
"We appeal to the media to exercise reasonable
care in facilitating unfounded, anonymous allegations,
and to respect the family s need to bury their son in
The release also denied that the child had been
jumping on the table.
"To the best of our knowledge this version of
events has never been submitted to the authorities.
The release said Eric was not in the pool nor had
he been on the table before the accident.
In wake of child's death...
Family, friends call on hotel
owners to ensure safety
The concrete table which stuck and killed six-year-
old Eric Gittens.
The Opposition PNM yesterday
failed to respond to Attorney General
Anand Ramlogan s repeated challenges
for the PNM to pledge support to leg-
islation to abolish appeals to the Privy
Council, after which the Government
would present the bill in 48 hours.
Ramlogan issued the challenge more
than three times to the PNM calling for
an answer, there in the Senate yesterday
The planned legislation is to abolish
appeals to the Privy Council, and cede
jurisdiction in criminal matters to the
Caribbean Court of Justice.
Ramlogan s call came after saying the
Government is examining amendments
on the issue. He said this required a
three-quarter vote for Lower House
passage and a two-thirds majority vote
for Upper House passage.
He said legal opinions were sought
and while there was a divergence of
views, it was ascertained there were
no legal obstacles to the process. He
said the matter is being examined by
PNM senators then launched queries
on various aspects of his answers. But
Ramlogan said if the Opposition was
prepared to say on the public record
when they would support the Govern-
ment in the issue, he would respond
immediately and prepare the bill within
48 hours. PNM senators didn t answer,
but continued questioning him.
Ramlogan said the PNM had to state
its support without condition.
The Opposition didn t respond. (GA)
PNM senators shun
Govt CCJ challenges
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